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Working with Herbal Allies

By Yeshe Rabbit

I live in an animated universe, where everything has a spirit. In my world, living things each have an indwelling spirit, or self-hood, as well as the collective spirit of the larger designations to which they belong. For example, in my home, each of my 5 cats has a distinct personality, color, body shape, name, and voice. Yet they definitely also all share certain qualities of ‘cat-ness’, including ‘catitude’, the love of chasing string and feathers, and wide, haunting eyes of doom that will bore into your soul when the food dish happens to be empty. So, when I think of the ‘spirit of cat’, I tend to think of those shared characteristics. And when I think about an individual cat, say my little Obi-Wan, I think of his particular version of catness: fluffy, opinionated, middle-of-the-night-singing, fetch-playing, prancing-with-joy-at-his-own-cleverness.

The same goes for my understanding of humans, other animals, crystals, and plants. Each has its own unique nature, but is also part of the great chorus of our kind in Gaea’s song. The spirit of Willow has been an ally to me since I was a small child, and would swing in her branches with my friend Molly. Although I now live across the country from that Willow and she may even be gone from that yard by this point, I still consider her spirit, within the larger spirit of Willow, to be my friend.

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